Sherry Broder


Deal Will Mean Cash For Marcos Victims

Monday, September 19, 1995

Human rights abuse victims of the Ferdinand Marcos regime would get an average of $10,000 each under a settlement reached yesterday between their lawyers and the Philippine government.

If the settlement is approved by the Marcos family, the 9,541 victims of torture, execution and "disappearance" under Marcos martial law from 1971 to 1986 would be the first human rights victims in history to get money by suing their oppressors, according to Honolulu attorney Sherry Broder.

Broder announced the proposed $100 million settlement here yesterday, as her counterparts in the Philippines held a press conference on the pact.

The plaintiffs in the class action suit against the Marcos estate had won judgments totaling nearly $2 billion after trial in federal court here.

Broder said the settlement, amounting to five cents on the dollar when compared with the amount awarded at the trial, was proposed to get money into the hands of the victims now rather than fighting for more later.

Some $50 million would come to the victims from the Philippine government, and the other $50 million would come from the Marcos family, she said.

The actual amount received by each plaintiff would vary according to the nature of the abuse they suffered. The amount received will be less attorneys fees and costs incurred in reaching the settlement of the past nine years.

In return, the victims would release their court order blocking transfer of an estimated $400 million in Marcos' Swiss bank accounts. The Philippine government and the Marcos family have already agreed to split the Swiss bank accounts. The Philippine government and the Marcos family have already agreed to split the Swiss bank account money 75-25 percent, with the bigger share going to the government for land reform.

The Marcos family was said to have looted the Philippines of $1.6 billion during their regime. Broder said she believes the $100 million settlement would be the largest reached in a Hawaii case. It was tried in Hawaii because Marcos dies here in 1989 after three years in exile.

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